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Thread: The straight dope on what I need to hone for the first time?

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    Junior Member 10xSuppress's Avatar
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    Default The straight dope on what I need to hone for the first time?

    So after reading some on honing, and seeing all the different types of hones and techniques, I feel a little lost on what I really need. I bout my dovo straight a few months ago shave ready, and it has finally started to dull. I don't want to spend more than I need to get my razor back to shave ready status. What do I need to buy?

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    Stropping Addict Scookum's Avatar
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    Well if you arent all that interested in honing, get a pasted strop or barber hone for touch ups and send your razor to a professional once or twice a year.
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    I use a dmt1200 diamond lapping plate and a coticule..Norton stones are a cheaper alternative and you may like them as well..220/1k 4k/8k then you can get a nice finisher like a Naniwa 12k SS superstone

    I sent my razor to honed professionally for 1 year before really getting to want to hone razors

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    Default The straight dope on what I need to hone for the first time?

    A good barbers hone is a good place to start. Very easy to use and they do the job. Of course it all depends on how far off your razor is.

    A pasted strop can keep you going for quite a while but eventually you will need to go to the hones.

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    Not with my razor 🚫 SirStropalot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10xSuppress View Post
    So after reading some on honing, and seeing all the different types of hones and techniques, I feel a little lost on what I really need. I bout my dovo straight a few months ago shave ready, and it has finally started to dull. I don't want to spend more than I need to get my razor back to shave ready status. What do I need to buy?
    First, what do you see yourself doing with honing in say, 3 to 6 months? Ambitions?
    Not spending more than you need to will depend largely on your honing aspirations and will also affect what we might recommend based on your future needs. Sorry if it seems I'm complicating things, but it can save you some dollars in the end.

    Best Regards,

    Howard
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    Junior Member 10xSuppress's Avatar
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    My ambition with honing short term, is to be able to maintain razors that were bought shave ready. I don't plan on doing any advanced stuff, like taking a stock razor and getting it shave ready. So as of now, I just want to keep my razors sharp without having to rely on a professional.

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    Not with my razor 🚫 SirStropalot's Avatar
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    As some have suggested, a pasted strop will bring back an edge for an extended period of time provided your stropping technique is good and you don't over use it. Also a good barber hone, i.e. a Franz Swaty is good for touchups when the pasted strop isn't quite enough, but you have to find a good one and there are a lot of "stinkers" on eBay. Or, you could look at getting an 8k Norton, or probably a 4/8k Norton but it would be a few more dollars, but would fit well into any future honing aspirations. Here's a link you can look at with many options including the Nortons I mentioned. The Sharpening Center : If the dollars aren't there and you need a razor refreshed, pm me and I'll hone it and send it back to you and you can take a little more time to decide on a course of action.

    Regards,
    Howard

    Edit: Just for info, and good reading and edification on the Nortons, here's a link to the JaNorton, (January Norton Honing Thread). It's a treasure trove of good honing information. The Famous/Infamous Norton 4/8 "JaNorton 2012"
    Last edited by SirStropalot; 09-16-2012 at 05:31 AM.
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    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    The more recent version for you
    Some thoughts on honing razors..
    Aspiring honers are often not clear about what they are trying to accomplish when it comes to honing razors. In particular, they are often unsure of what they are doing and how often they should be doing it. Some questions you might want to answer for yourself before you start buying hones: this also means that if you are not sure of the answer here, you should shave more, and wait to buy hones until you can answer these questions.... I normally recommend 6 months of shaving before even thinking about honing

    ■ Are you an "end-user"; someone who only hones a previously shave-ready blade back to shave-ready?
    ■ Are you a hobbyist who is chasing the absolute finest edge that may be obtained where money is no object?
    ■ Are you a frugal shaver who is after the cheapest way to complete your morning shave?
    ■ Are you a collector who needs to take E-bay specials from butt-ugly to shave-ready?
    ■ Are you a Honemiester; someone who gets paid to do all of these things for others?
    ■ Are you a razor restorer who needs to take damaged blades and bring them back to life and shave-readiness?

    Each of these types of honer profiles have different requirements for the stones they will own. Theoretically, you can survive using the "one stone" approach, but each razor does have an optimum stone set - and more importantly, a technique for using the required hones. So generally, when somebody asks what stone or how to use what stone, the question to ask them is: "What are you trying to accomplish with the stone(S)?"

    Refreshing vs. Starting from Scratch:

    The types of hones required depends first and foremost on the type of honing you want to do.

    Hones needed for refreshing a dull blade:

    If the only task you want to perform is refreshing edges that have previously been established by a Honemiester (the process is often referred to as "touching up"), you need only get a fine grit finishing stone or a barber's hone for this. Either of these hones can be used to keep your razor(s) shave-ready for years.

    Hones needed for restoring razors:

    If you want to set a bevel, or have many different types of razors, you will need a full set of hones.


    A bevel setting stone approximately 1k

    DMT's 325 600 1200, Shapton 500, 1K and 2K, Coticules with slurry, Norton 1k, Naniwa 1k, King 1k Chosera 1k

    A sharpening stone approximately 4k

    Norton 4K, Shapton 4K Naniwa 3k or 5k, Belgian Blue with slurry, Coticule with slurry, King 4k or 6k Tam o Shanter, Dragon's Tongue

    A polishing stone approximately 8k

    Norton 8k, Shapton 8k, Naniwa 8k, Yellow Coticule, Water of Ayre, Some of the Japanese Naturals, the Welsh Slates

    A finishing stone 10k and above (this is often subject to debate, however)

    Shapton GS 16k-30k Shapton 15k Naniwa SS 10k-12k or Chosera 10k, Thuringens, Escher's, Chinese Guanxgi Hone, Many different natural Japanese finishers, Charlney Forest, Extra Fine Coticule, even some of the Arkansas stones...

    You have several choices of how to accomplish this setup whether you use natural, man-made stone, or a Diamond-style stone, even honing(Lapping) films, but you are going to have to be able to cover those 4 grit ranges. There really is no true shortcut here if you expect to take razors acquired in need of restoration from butter knife dull (or damaged) to shaving sharp: You are going to end up needing these types of stones.


    Pastes can be used after the hones and before the final stropping also these can be used for re-freshing the edge before going back to the hones for a touch-up... Some shavers even use pastes to "sharpen" the razor after the bevel set has been done...

    A few different types

    Dovo Pastes:

    Green 5-8 micron
    Red 3-5 micron
    Black 1-3 micron
    Dovo pastes are a much more mild cutter then say a diamond paste of the same micron size...

    Diamond Paste:

    From 3 micron down to actually .10 micron if you really wanted to...
    These pastes are fast and many people use them incorrectly and manage too get a harsh edge, when used correctly and on the right razor steel these will most likely be the sharpest edge you will ever feel...

    Diamond sprays:

    Mostly found in 1.0 .50 and .25 micron watch the Carat content here, the higher the better (SRD has the best I have found and yes Lynn and Don are friends of mine, but heck it is still the best spray I have found)

    Chromium Oxide Paste/Powder .50 micron (CrOx)
    Probably the most universal of the pastes, get the most pure you can find, and no the bars at Woodcrafters are not pure...

    Cerium Oxide Paste/Powder (approx).25 micron (CeOx)

    Super fine, super soft, and super smooth, polishing media...The bar at Woodcrafter's is of unknown quality at this time

    Cubic Boron Nitite (CBN)

    Available in many Micron sizes down to .10 known for the fact that the cutting grit particles have a spherical shape which gives very smooth bevels.


    Other Pastes and Powders:

    Iron Oxide
    Aluminum Oxide

    Both of these can also be used again be very careful when buying this stuff as the purity and the micron sizes are very important...

    Carbon blacking/lamp black:

    This might be the oldest of all the sharpening "pastes" when used on a leather strop it increases draw

    Wood Ash:

    Another old fashioned one very slightly abrasive when used on Linen strops and Leather strops..

    White chalk:

    Can be rubbed on a linen strop to increase the abrasive qualities

    Newspaper:

    The ink itself is a very fine abrasive and so is the paper..

    Keep in mind that different razor steels like/dislike different pastes, and the different media that is used to apply it including Balsa, Linen, Leather (paddle) Leather (hanger) and Felt paddle and hanger all give different results on different razor steels....


    The above are only my personal opinions and observations... There are no set rules in Razordom
    Last edited by gssixgun; 09-16-2012 at 08:40 AM.

  9. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to gssixgun For This Useful Post:

    10xSuppress (09-23-2012), eleblu05 (09-16-2012), jaswarb (09-17-2012), SirStropalot (09-16-2012)

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    Junior Member 10xSuppress's Avatar
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    Wow what answer! Yes right now I'm an "end-user." I've only been shaving with a straight for about 6 months. According to you, I only need to get a finishing stone. I was originally thinking of getting a norton 4/8k, but now I'm looking at a naniwa 10 or 12k? Which one do you think will suit me better?

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    At this point in time... gssixgun's Avatar
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    It really depends on which direction you want to go..
    The problem for us making the recommendations is that most people branch out after they start honing, so the Norton 4/8 or Naniwa 3/8 is the goto starter hone.. That way you have a good base set up no matter the direction you will ever decide to go..

    IF big IF I was seriously going to only have one stone or hone any of those high grits would do, I myself used just an Ankansas stone as a re-fresher for over 20 years... I could have easily done the same with a Naniwa 12k...

    You can go the other direction too, get the Naniwa 12k then if you decide you need more later you can buy the 3/8

    So many pieces of candy in the store
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